Thursday, September 06, 2018
Do not engage the crazy
And I say that as someone who deals with mental issues. Okay, I hesitate to post this, because it has to do with race, and people have strong opinions on things. Was in line at Kroger when a woman, who had left her cart in line and then gone and done some more shopping accused a man of touching her cart (which she neither owned, nor anything in it, as it hadn't been paid for yet, and she'd taken her actual belongings like phone/purse, or whatever with her). She started screaming at the top of her lungs about how it was because of her race, when he 1) hadn't touched it, as far as I or anyone else saw, 2) race had nothing to do with it--people moved away and treated her differently because she was a raging lunatic at that point, and how he obviously felt entitled due to white privilege. She started screaming at us because we'd offered him a spot in our line to get him away from her, but we didn't engage her. I pointed out to the man that calling her crazy repeatedly (although she was certainly acting like she'd lost it) wasn't helping the situation. Security came and got him and hustled him to another checkout lane much further down, to try to diffuse things, which only incensed her further. We got through our checkout while she railed on, stopped by the wine and spirits section, and she was still complaining at the top of her lungs when we left several minutes later. There are so many things wrong with this country and race relations. There are lots of people who actually are oppressed or even being shot in the street. This was not that situation. This was an attention-seeking woman who went off on some perceived slight and used it to bully her way into getting attention and who knows what else. She was the one who had no thought towards others by basically abandoning her cart for several transactions. She came back and was upset that another lane had opened and she had missed the opportunity to get into it, I suspect, and he'd gone up ahead of her, because, well, she'd left her cart. The cart she was so protective of afterwards, and in the process slowed down the entire checkout for everyone in the two lanes. She called it sticking up for herself. She also threatened to harm him. She was basically acting like a rude kindergartner--he touched my stuff! I'll whack you! It makes me sad that anyone would cry wolf in a situation which clearly was not racially-biased or the result of white privilege when, in fact, there are plenty of cases where it is a serious problem. I never thought of her in terms of her race, any more than I would have thought about the man's race. I thought in terms of behaviour, and how she was losing her ^&%E in public over something so trivial [although I recognise it was not trivial for her, and she probably has gone through a lot of actual racist stuff that left her primed and ready to explode, stuff that was legitimate], and for a while I thought things were going to come to blows or worse because she was combative and he was acting surprised yet just repeating 'You are one crazy woman,'--not even an insult instead of the word woman--over and over, but definitely not making things better. The staff did what they could to calm her down, brought her attention back to her lane and checking out rather than her march towards him, tried to use customer service skills to diffuse things. But man, who knew going to get some food at the grocery would be this intense? And while I did not touch her cart, I have been known to move ones out of the way that were left in the middle of aisles unattended when they're in my way. Not so sure I ever want to spark a case of grocery rage just for doing that.e When did grocery rage become a thing?